Four-Run Seventh Lifts Baseball to Series Win
BATON ROUGE -- LSU (2-0) strung together four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Maryland (0-2) by a score of 5-1 in the second game of the three game series at Alex Box Stadium.
With LSU's 1-0 victory on opening night, the Tigers guaranteed their first series win of the 2013 season. Game 3 starts Sunday at Noon - senior left-hander Brent Bonvillain will start on the mound for the Tigers.
LSU right-hander Ryan Eades fired 6.1 innings of no-run baseball, allowed six hits and struck out six. Reliever Kevin Berry (1-0) picked up his first victory since April 5, 2011 against Tulane after getting the Tigers out of a seventh inning jam.
Left-hander Chris Cotton allowed the Terrapins' only run in the top of the eighth, recorded the final six outs of the contest and fanned three batters.
Maryland starter Brady Kirkpatrick (0-1) was charged with the loss. The right-hander was solid through his first six innings, allowed two hits and struck out three, but got into trouble in the bottom of the seventh inning with a pair of walks.
"We had a very strong effort from Ryan Eades and excellent defense for the second night in a row," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "For a while, I wasn't sure we would score a run, but we finally broke through in the seventh with some timely hitting."
In the seventh, LSU first baseman Mason Katz and second baseman JaCoby Jones drew back-to-back one out walks. Terrapins' reliever Ben Brewster replaced Kirkpatrick and gave up the game's first run on an RBI by pinch hitter Alex Edward.
"That was a tremendous at-bat by Alex, who is going to play a vital role for us this season," Mainieri said. "He's a senior and one of the leaders of our team, and he's off to a great start. He's really swinging the bat well right now."
Catcher Ty Ross executed a perfect squeeze bunt, reached base safely and scored Jones from third. Third baseman Christian Ibarra smashed a line drive that dropped into right field and scored pinch runner Jared Foster. The ball was mishandled, allowing Ross to reach third. Ross raced home on a passed ball before reliever Jake Stinnett ended the inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Maryland scraped a run across the plate in the top of the eighth off of Cotton. Blake Schmitt led off the inning with a single and moved to second a sacrifice bunt off of the bat of Charlie White. Jordan Hagel scored Schmitt on a single.
LSU responded with another run in the bottom of the eighth. Leftfielder Raph Rhymes led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second. Pinch hitter Sean McMullen brought home Rhymes with a single to right.
Rightfielder Mark Laird was a standout on defense for the Tigers. The freshman tracked down two deep flies to right in a tense top half of the seventh inning and made a spectacular grab over the wall by the LSU bullpen.
LSU 5, Maryland 1 (Feb 16, 2013 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Maryland............ 000 000 010 - 1 9 2 (0-2)
LSU..................... 000 000 41X - 5 6 0 (2-0)
Pitchers: Maryland - Brady Kirkpatrick; Ben Brewster(7); Jake Stinnett(7); Kevin Mooney(8) and
Kevin Martir; Jack Cleary.
LSU - Ryan Eades; Kevin Berry (7); Chris Cotton (8) and Ty Ross.
Win-Kevin Berry (1-0) Loss-Brady Kirkpatrick (0-1) T-2:36 A-11209
Actual Attendance: 7,104
Brewster, B. faced 3 batters in the 7th.